Openings & Closings: October 2011
It's been a busy month for restaurant openings, closings, name changes and remodels. Hang onto your coffee cups -- we've got a lot of restaurant news to get through in one post.
Coming soon: Free bitch-slaps for anyone who says, "Meet me at the Finn."
BlackFinn American Grille is close to opening in Midtown, and the North Carolina-based chain is the first I've heard of to use the term "polished casual" to describe itself. The restaurant will open at 1910 Bagby later this month, offering four distinct rooms ("The Grille Room, The Saloon, The Dining Room and The Patio") in its 11,000-square-foot space. Luckily for many Midtowners, the patio portion of BlackFinn is dog-friendly, and the restaurant itself plans to keep late hours despite its upscale bent.
We might have lost La Mia, but we gained a satellite location of Melange Crêperie this week, as the popular crêpe stand opened its "Right Bank" location in the Heights. (To be quite honest, I'd rather have a second Melange Crêperie any day of the week, anyway.) It's located in the parking lot of Stella Sola, and -- as with the original -- you can follow Melange Right Bank on Twitter to keep up with its daily hours and specials.
In place of the shuttered Little Bigs, Pinewood Cafe has opened up in Hermann Park. Like BlackFinn, the patio here is dog-friendly, but there's more to the little place than just pups -- it also boasts a build-your-own grilled cheese bar, perfect for kids and grown-up kids alike.
Out in Sugar Land, the newest location of Youssef Nafaa's Mia Bella Trattoria has opened at First Colony Mall. According to a press release, this newest location "boasts a specially designed open kitchen and full bar with a sliding wall that opens onto a large outdoor patio."
As mentioned earlier this week, Tomo has closed and Nabi is opening in its place. The new restaurant will have an Asian fusion menu that runs the gamut from Korean fried chicken to Peking duck buns. Its grand opening is set for November 19, and Nabi will be throwing a huge party befitting its festive Montrose location.
And downtown, The Capitol opened its doors this week at Capitol and Main. Initial reports from readers indicate that the bar/restaurant has a Prohibition era vibe, but not as over-the-top as the atmosphere at Prohibition in the Galleria. In keeping with the theme, classic cocktails figure prominently on the drinks menu.
Cafe Red Onion on Eldridge Parkway finally shut its doors after many months of scraping along. But the space won't be vacant for long: Cafe Express is moving into the enormous endcap, and it's a location that Cafe Express's F&B Manager Greg Martin is particularly excited about -- it would be the farthest west that the chain has expanded so far.
The last Houston location of Burger Girl has closed despite a recent positive write-up from the Chron's Alison Cook. It's the third restaurant in this location in as many years, prompting Eater Houston to speculate that this is yet another cursed Houston restaurant location.